Tollywood superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee says his character in the period-look telly serial 'Mahanayak' bears traces of both Uttam Kumar and Biswajit Chatterjee.
"Yes for months during shoots, I was confined within the looks of a superstar representing that era. You can say I carried the looks of both Uttamjethu (Uttam uncle) and my father Biswajit Chatterjee. I totally inhabited in that period and tried to get into the skin of my matinee idol character by sporting the retro look," Prosenjit told PTI at the pre-telecast premier of certain visuals of the much anticipated serial.
"The more I took part in the shooting, the greater I got an intimate knowledge of that era (60s-70s). As I enacted certain incidents reported to have taken place in the superstar's life, I surely could connect," Prosenjit, who is named Arun, said.
Sporting the 60s' glamourous heroine's party look at the programme, principal female lead of the serial Paoli Dam, whose character is interestingly called 'Sucharita', stopped short of describing it as inspired by Suchitra Sen's life.
"That is for you, the audience to decipher. My character is fictional. But yes I had to mould myself for that role and that was very taxing mouthing lots of dialogues of that period," Paoli said when told her make-up and looks in Mahanayak largely resembled Suchitra Sen in her late 20s.
Director Birsa Dasgupta said "Mahanayak is a fictional biopic of a matinee idol which explores the untold story of a remarkable life beneath the glare of arc light.
"Mahanayak follows the professional and personal journey
of an actor, who is considered a superstar. Though I myself consider Uttamkumar as 'Mahanayak', I will not say the episodes are real life events of the matinee idol. But in any case such a character, etched out on a large canvas, can only be handled by Prosenjit Chatterjee," the director said.
With evergreen playbacks from several Uttam-Suchitra starrers played on the big screen at the venue, Birsa said, "We have recreated the songs of that phase while keeping the wordings intact."
A six-member team led by director Kamaleswar Mukherjee has gone through the large film archive of that time to string the narrative for different episodes and recreate the set, costume and feel of that era, Birsa said.
"Piku" music director Anupam Roy, present at the select footage launch, said "Like every Bengali I also grew up watching films acted by the 'Mahanayak and Mahanayika' and my all time favourite musical is the Uttam-Suchitra starrer Saptapadi. But exactly don't know about the content of this soap."
The serial will be telecast from June 27 on a leading Bengali entertainment channel.